Former major leaguer Michael Aubrey hit four homers and drove in seven runs in four at-bats for Triple-A Syracuse in an 11-0 win over Durham on Saturday.
It was a pretty stunning outburst for the 29-year-old Aubrey, who entered with no homers and just one double in 59 at-bats this season. He was hitting .203/.319/.288 through 21 games.
The Indians made Aubrey the 11th overall pick in the 2003 draft coming out of Tulane. Injuries limited during his early minor league career, and he never developed the kind of power hoped for him. He held his own in appearances with the majors with the Indians in 2008 and the Orioles in 2009, hitting .259/.310/.444 in 135 at-bats, but no team saw enough upside to give him a legitimate shot afterwards. The Nationals signed him to a minor league deal over the winter after he spent all of last season with Baltimore’s Triple-A club.
Blue Jays closer Ken Giles hasn’t exactly turned things around since joining the Blue Jays on July 31, when the club sent embattled closer Roberto Osuna to the Astros. Giles posted a 4.99 ERA in 30 2/3 innings with the Astros, then put up a slightly less miserable 4.58 ERA in 17 2/3 innings with the Jays. Still, he’s much happier with the Jays than he was with the Astros, even after winning the World Series with them last year. He said to Rosie DiManno of the Toronto Star, “I’m actually enjoying the game more than I did for my entire tenure in Houston. It’s kind of weird to say that because I won a World Series with that team. But it’s like, I just felt trapped there. I didn’t feel like myself there. Overall, I felt out of place.”
Giles also said “the communication was lost” with the Astros and it was something that came easy with the Jays. He said, “When I came here, they stayed patient with me. I said hey, I want to work on this thing till I’m comfortable. All right. OK, I’m comfortable, let’s move on to this next thing. Pitching, you can’t just try to fix everything at once. For me, I had to take baby steps to get my groove back. The Jays allowed me to do that. Yeah, the team was out of contention, but it doesn’t matter. It’s still my career. I still have to prove myself. Them being so patient with me, understanding what I want to do, was very, very big.”
Giles, 28, has two more years of arbitration eligibility remaining. He has shown promise despite his overall mediocre numbers. In non-save situations this season (with both the Astros and Jays), he has a 9.12 ERA. But in save situations, his ERA is a pristine 0.38. Giles could be a closer the Jays find themselves leaning on as they attempt to get back into competitive shape. Since it sounds like Giles is quite enamored with Toronto and with the Blue Jays, a discussion about a contract extension certainly could be had.